Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
This book has been recommended to me over the years, especially by my mum who absolutely adore the series, however, I can’t say I was particularly impressed. Sci-fi that uses made-up words really, really grates on me. I haven’t read much sci-fi as its not my preferred genre, but one of my favourite books of all time is The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August which is science fiction, however, it’s based on earth and it’s about humans and human life. I just find that kind of sci-fi far easier to digest.
I did find moments in this book quite funny. It’s filled with a lot of British humour (my favourite kind!) so there were times I enjoyed some of the comedic elements. But even then, it’s not the funniest thing I’ve ever read? I could also appreciate the characters, Zaphod possibly being my favourite of them all, but I didn’t feel particularly invested in any of them so I’m not driven to pick up the next book in the ‘trilogy of five’.
I’m not really sure what else to say about this one. I almost put it down but I wanted to push myself to read it just so I could say I’ve read it. It’s only 200 pages so it really isn’t that big a book but it took me a while to get through it even still.
I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.